Journal Staff Tanya Manus
Weaving together stories as varied as conspiracy theories and “Romeo and Juliet,” South Dakota Ballet will present its first performance in Rapid City, “Invisible Threads,” on June 16.
Tickets are on sale now for “Invisible Threads”, which will be performed by professional and local dancers. The production will take place at 7 p.m. on June 16 at the Fine Arts Theater at the Monument in Rapid City. Tickets cost between $32.50 and $62.50 and can be purchased at themonument.live/events/detail/sdballet2022 or by calling the Monument box office at 605-394-4115.
“Invisible Threads” will feature a performance by local dancers who will learn choreography over an intensive summer. Scott and a team of dancers from ballet companies around the country will arrive in Rapid City on June 6 for the Summer Intensive, which will take place at Barefoot Dance Studio. Students will practice with professional dancers while learning the choreography of “Invisible Threads”. Professional dancers will also be available to give masterclasses at local dance studios.
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Registrations are now taking place for the summer intensive. It is open to dancers in the Rapid City and Black Hills area ages 10-25. The program can accept up to 40 dancers, according to Madeleine Scott, founder, executive director and artistic director of South Dakota Ballet. For more information or to register, go to southdakotaballet.org/summer-intensive/.
“I’m super excited that we’re coming to Rapid City,” Scott said. “I really hope we have a good turnout. … We’ve had a lot of success in Sioux Falls, and we’re the South Dakota Ballet. I want to make it a priority that we have an impact across the state. J hope this is the first of many great summers coming to Rapid City to engage with studio owners and the community.
“Invisible Threads” will debut three pieces of original choreography created by Scott and by Kaya Wolsey, dancer, choreographer and teacher at Corps de Ballet, Ballet San Antonio. Combining art and athletics, “Invisible Threads” features dance styles ranging from innovative contemporary to neoclassical ballet.
“It’s a pretty intimate and visceral experience,” Scott said of “Invisible Threads.”
The show takes its name and inspiration from a quote by author Orson Scott Card: “The future is a hundred thousand threads, but the past is a fabric that can never be rewoven.”
Scott choreographed two of the pieces debuting on “Invisible Threads,” including “18 East.”
“It will take place in sneakers. It’s a really big twist for ballet, and this one has kind of a rock star vibe to it. It’s pretty intense and visually stimulating with lots of different and dramatic shifts that give you a “hold on to your seat” kind of feeling, Scott said. “I think it will surprise the public in a good way. It’s a bit more accessible and understandable than the spikes. There are a lot of big lifts and throws. It’s very entertaining.
“Invisible Threads” also tackles topical themes in a piece choreographed by Wolsey called “Birds Aren’t Real.”
“It’s inspired by conspiracy theories. It will be intense and challenging and basically an exciting experience all around. It’s pretty athletic, very contemporary,” Scott said.
Classic gems such as the balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet” will also be incorporated into the performance.
With a grant from the South Dakota Arts Council, Scott collaborated with professional set designer Joe Schermoly of Chicago, Illinois to create the sets for “Invisible Threads”. Scott and Wolsey also worked with professional costume and dancewear designer Olivia Mason of Salt Lake City, Utah to develop the wardrobe for “Invisible Threads”.
Scott founded South Dakota Ballet in 2019. She is a professional ballerina who performed with companies including Ballet West, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, LED Boise and Sacramento Ballet before launching the world’s first and only professional ballet company. South Dakota. She currently dances with Dance Aspen and the South Dakota Ballet.
Professional dancers will rehearse the original choreography of “Invisible Threads” at the Academy of Dance Arts.
The dancers are: Dylan Keane, Sacramento Ballet; Kaya Wolsey, Aspen Dance; Eri Nishihara and Jack Miller, Richmond Ballet; Sophie Williams, most recently with English National Ballet and New Zealand Ballet and currently with Texas Ballet Theatre; Gabriel Wright, Ballet Arizona; Nicole Denney, formerly of New Zealand Ballet and currently of the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California; Chase Peterson, Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California; and South Dakota Ballet apprentice Marlyse Noble.